Lackey Aspires To Change Culture Of ESU’s Defense

Photo Credit/ ESU Athletics
East Stroudsburg's football team announced their new Defensive Coordinator Mike Lackey last month.

Peter Gilroy 

Staff Writer 

A new era begins for the ESU Warriors football team. Regarded as a tough-nose defensive force, the Warriors have improved their defense by hiring former graduate assistant coach Mike Lackey.

The former four-year starting nose guard for Juniata College came to East Stroudsburg University in 2012 to train the defensive linemen for the Warriors.

Within two years of his arrival, the Warriors led the PSAC in sacks. Even as a graduate assistant, Lackey had a lot of influence on the improvement of their defensive front.

After gaining experience, he then took a job in Maryland at Towson University.

The FCS (Football Champion Subdivision) Division I team hired Coach Lackey as a Defensive Quality Control coach, assistant linemen coach, and an assistant linebacker coach.

As Defensive Quality Control coach, Lackey analyzed other offenses and put together various defensive strategies to counter opposing teams.

In addition to strategizing defensive schemes at a Division I university, Lackey helped implement a stonewall defense for the Towson Tigers.

Working with the defensive unit, he built a hard-hitting intense style that became the Tigers’ identity.

That intensity brought Towson a 6-2 record in the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) and an impressive 13-3 record; furthermore, an NCAA National Championships showing.

After continuing to build his resume, Lackey took a position at a Division I FBS school, the highest level of college football at The University of Missouri in the highly competitive Southeastern Conference or SEC.

He began his career at Mizzou as a recruiting graduate assistant in 2015.

From there he was promoted to assistant recruiting coordinator in the same year Mizzou won their last six games to qualify for their first bowl game in three years.

His final position at Mizzou was classified as a defensive graduate assistant where he was able to specialize in coaching the defensive line.

After all of these amazing experiences Lackey found himself back at the school that gave him his first opportunity to chase his dream as a college football coach. 

East Stroudsburg University welcomed the experienced defensive coach back on March 27 as the head Defensive Coordinator. 

Lackey said he was excited to work with coaches that made a significant impact on his career.

He mentioned, with noticeable excitement, that he and Coach Terwilliger were going to bring a ton of energy to the defense.

Between the large recruiting class and the experienced talent already on the team, Lackey and his players will be ready to “attack” every offensive they face.

“We are going to be together, we are going to be relentless, and we are going to be disciplined,” Lackey said

After only three practices with his players Coach Lackey has been nothing but pleased with the Warriors living up to his expectations.

The new era of Warrior football kicks off Saturday, April 27 with the annual spring game.

Email Peter at: 

pgilroy@live.esu.edu

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